Iraq Receives Three New F-16 Fighters from US

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:13 AM, November 4, 2017
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Iraq Receives Three New F-16 Fighters from US
Iraqi F-16 fighter aircraft

Iraq has received three new F-16 fighter aircraft from the US bringing the total to 17.

Iraq still needs to receive 15 more to complete the total 36 fighters under the nearly $2 billion deal signed in 2014. Two aircraft crashed during training of Iraqi pilots in the US.

The planes arrived at Balad airbase, north of the capital Baghdad, the Iraqi ministry of defense was quoted as saying by Rudaw Thursday. 

The Kurdistan Region has criticized the Iraqi army for using American-supplied weapons against the Peshmerga in clashes over disputed areas that broke out in Kirkuk on October 16 and subsequently other areas including Pirde, south of Erbil.

The Peshmerga have accused the Iraqi army and the Hashd al-Shaabi of using American-made Abrams tanks, but has not reported the use of American fighter jets in the military standoff.

The media office of the Iraqi Air Force told AFP that they had already received 17 fighter jets and with this new batch they now have 20.

The US-trained F16 pilots, some of whom are Kurds, have already carried out hundreds of airstrikes against ISIS. 

The US temporarily postponed the delivery of the planes in 2014 after ISIS took over army installations in Nineveh province. The planes were instead sent to an Arizona air base where Iraqi pilots were being trained to fly the advanced aircraft.

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